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Re: AO-40: Going "LIVE" - Saturday!!!!

Jim Walls wrote:
> Peter Guelzow wrote:
> > Dear All,
> >
> > Experimental transponder operation will start on Saturday morning May 5th at
> > approximately 08:00 utc when the U-band and L1-band uplinks will be connected
> > to the S2 transmitter passband in the Matrix.
> Well, this sure got me motivated to get my S-Band downlink operational!  I've had
> two different downconverters for a couple months (a Drake and a Trans-systems),
> but had not done anything with either one of them.
> Friday evening after work I mounted the trans-system into one of my spare dishes
> (an old 2 x 3 foot PrimeStar DSS dish).  Got it mounted on the El/Az rotor by
> moonlight and a flashlight (dang I was glad the moon was bright last night!).
> Kludged up a bias-T just before AOS at about 2300 local time (0600z).  Listened
> for an hour and never heard the beacon so I went to bed - rather disappointed).
> This morning I tried again with the bird much closer and still did not hear
> anything.  That's about when I discovered that the DC buss I had grabbed for
> power was not energized because it's powered only when I have the ATV station
> powered up - ARGH!!!!  After turning on that power supply, I heard life on the
> S-band downlink!  Dialing across the IF with a Icom PCR-1000 (running under
> Windows 2000 it works fine BTW) I heard several weak conversations, but I wanted
> to get the beacon to check to see how closely I had gotten the offset feed dish
> to pointing to where it was supposed to be.  I found the beacon OK and after a
> few minutes of moving the antenna up / down, and left / right I decided that I
> had done a pretty good job (I think I'm off about 2 degrees vertically).  I dial
> down to the bottom of the passband and send some dits and dahs on the UHF uplink
> and can't find myself.  About that time I swap over to the AMSAT channel on the
> IRC too see people saying that the transponder had shut off (on schedule).  I
> guess I slept too long.  By next time I'll clean up the Bias-T and get a better
> feed on the dish - I think I'll try a small helix so I can get CP.

yeah its kinda a kick Jim , I was trying with a 60cm solid dish inside
the house with a drake converter and didn't hear a peep , so this
morning I decided that I better make sure the converter is working , so
I did a little math and setup the vx-5r on 400.225 tx and the ft847 on
145.350 and boom there it was , so I knew my  converter is working , but
how sensitive I don't remember ( put it on the tracking generator at
work about a 1.5 years ago ) , so now I guess I will brave the high
winds and try and stick the dish outside ...

Curious how much adjusting you had to do with your dish to hear ao-40 ,
or was it fairly coarse , reason I ask is I don't have mine on a rotor
yet and will have to run outside to point and run inside to listen :^P

ah well , things are looking up :)

no pun intended 

well , maybe ....

73 all and congrats to amsat folks for doing such a great job !!

Douglas Cole   N7BFS
AMSAT#26182 , K2 # 544
Registered Linux user # 188922
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